Facebook has revealed that ads for video games are their social network’s worst performers, putting up anemic impressions and click rates bested even by dating ads.
Rick Kelley, Facebook’s global director of sales for games, shared the unwelcome news at November 19’s London Games Conference. “You are not just competing with other video game ads, you are competing with L’Oreal, Lynx, and other ad companies […] There are only so many ads we can show people on any given day,” Kelley remarked, alluding to a saturated market for traditional advertising.
Kelley offered three key points of advice for gaming companies looking to deliver their advertising statistics from peril:
Blurred lines between “hardcore” and “casual” gamers coupled with mobile’s explosion mean that gamers are no longer an easily-compartmentalized niche audience. Facebook intends to flex its renowned data-collection muscle by gathering internal data from publishers, allowing them to gain an advantage when they are presented with a specified audience ripe for their ad campaigns.
Design content relevant to specific audiences
Kelley emphasized Facebook users’ growing embrace of video, detailing a company decision to autoplay videos in news feeds that sees them handling upwards of a billion views a day. Pointing to a successful Facebook campaign for EA’s Madden franchise tailored to a consumer’s favorite football team, Kelley stated that companies would do well to follow their lead by tackling individualized content designed to attract the attention of specific users.
Think your game has a one-in-a-million chance of following in the footsteps of Flappy Bird or Candy Crush Saga Kelley advised developers to think again on that front, claiming current market figures place their chances closer to one in two million. Using hitmakers King and Supercell as examples, Kelley suggested publishers brand their games with watermarks, as it affords a level of prestige to makers of a beloved game hoping to keep consumers on board for their next offering.